|written by Pastor David Wood|
Should I Join The Local Church?
Anyone who has receive the
Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior ought to want to be a part
of a good Bible believing fellowship. There is a great encouragement,
enjoyment and excitement in faithful committed church involvement.
1. The Bible teaches not only the doctrine of a universal church which includes anyone who has ever placed his faith in Christ (1Cor. 12:13,27; Eph. 1:22,23), but it also teaches that local churches were established to carry out God's plan for this age (1Cor. 1:2, 16:19; II Thess. 1:1; Acts 2:47).
2. The Bible establishes leaders for specific church fellowships. Those leaders assumed responsibility before the Lord for the direction of that church (Heb. 13:7, 17; I Tim. 3:1-13; Tit. 1:5-11). That responsibility assumes a "membership."
3. The Bible teaches accountability. The church at Corinth had to deal with a church member who was sinning defiantly and who was disrupting the testimony of Christians everywhere (1Cor. 5). We need to be accountable to the Lord for our actions. The Bible instructs the local church to establish that accountability.
4. The Bible teaches a principle of "restraint and growth." Being faithful in a local church fellowship will be a restraint for you in the time of temptation, and it will be a stimulus to worship, good works and growth in grace.
Hebrews 10:23, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)"
Hebrews 10:24, "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:"
Hebrews 10:25, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
Several advantages of church membership come to mind as well.
1. The advantage of "identification." By being a member of a local Bible believing church you will let others know what you believe and where you stand. If that church has the testimony that you want to have you should be a member of that local church.
2. The advantage of "belonging." If you are actually a part of an organization you will take greater interest in the well being of that organization. An owner of a piece of property takes greater care than one who is renting. You'll be involved in the ministry in a greater way. You'll be desirous to see that ministry prosper and continue in God's blessing.
3. The advantage of "stability." Having your family a part of a local church and being committed to that church will bring a degree of stability to your family. It will help you and your children go in a godly direction.
4. The advantage of "unity." You will find a greater "bonding" with friends as you promise to "join hands" with that membership in a unity of service in prayer and involvement.
Please print, fill out and return this form to Pastor Wood or one of the deacons when you'd like to join Shannon Baptist Church.
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